Jodi killer launches conviction appeal

Last updated at 08:07 03 August 2005

The teenager convicted of murdering schoolgirl Jodi Jones has launched a bid to overturn his conviction, his solicitor confirmed today.

Luke Mitchell's lawyers lodged the legal

challenge in Edinburgh on the day the deadline


The 17-year-old's bid for freedom comes six months after he was jailed for the brutal murder of his 14-year-old girlfriend.

Her throat was slashed, her hands were tied behind her back and her body was mutilated on a secluded woodland path in Dalkeith, Midlothian, in June 2003.

Mitchell's legal team vowed to mount a challenge to their client's conviction days after he was sentenced in January.

The note of appeal was prepared by his senior counsel, Donald Findlay QC, one of Scotland's top defence lawyers, and lodged yesterday.

Mitchell's solicitor, Nigel Beaumont, did not detail the grounds for appeal but said they hoped to apply for bail at some stage in the process.

He told the Scottish Press Association: "It was always intimated that our client was going to appeal.

"And yesterday we lodged that appeal against conviction and sentence on the grounds it was unfair.

"The next stage is that judges will consider the note of appeal. They could reject it sitting in private but hopefully they will pass it over for a public hearing.

"There are the three principal possibilities: there could be a retrial, the conviction and sentence could be set aside, or it could be


"Convinced as I am of my client's innocence, I hope it will be overturned. There will be no motion for bail at the moment but that's possible at some future stage."

Lord Nimmo Smith ordered Mitchell to serve a minimum of 20 years in jail after describing the murder case as one of the worst he had ever seen.

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